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This paper describes early research and current trends in prenatal brain growth, development of the auditory system, and characteristics of the fetal environment including auditory stimuli. Questions which initiated the investigator's longitudinal study of pre and postnatal response to musical stimuli are discussed.

The protocol for the research, nature of specific musical stimulus sources, pre and postnatal behavioral response, and implications for accelerated musical and speech development are discussed.

A review of data collection procedures, and observations regarding infant cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development of the subjects involved in the study will be presented. Plans for continued observation of both control and experimental subjects are described.


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Donald J. Shetler, Ed.D.

Much of the work on the report of this project was completed during a Bridging Fellowship to Psychology awarded by the University of Rochester in 1986. Thanks to Irving Phillips, Irene Yang, Robin Panneton, Brent Logan, Tom Verny and Richard Aslin for their assistance in obtaining sources.

Address reprint requests to: Donald J. Shetler, Ed.D., 122 Mickler Dr., Ladson, SC 29456.

JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.

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